Cryptocurrencies were able to stabilize over the weekend after undergoing a steep sell-off that erased billions of dollars in value for the leading digital currency.
According to a report in CNBC on Saturday (Feb. 3), bitcoin reached $8,997.91 based on CoinDesk data, while Ethereum reached $945.21 and Ripple reached $0.89. Bitcoin, noted CNBC, increased 7 percent in a twenty-four hour period as Ripple and Ethereum also jumped in value. The rebound comes after a steep sell-off on Friday in which more than $100 billion of value evaporated before investors’ eyes. The sell-off last week sent bitcoin to under $8,000, which was the first time it reached that level since November.
Cryptocurrencies have been under pressure in recent weeks as regulators clamp down on digital currencies. India’s Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, said on Thursday (Feb. 1) that India “does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these cryptoassets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.” On Wednesday (Jan. 31), The New York Times reported that a number of investors are concerned that the price of bitcoin — and other cryptocurrencies — has been inflated by cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. Bitcoin prices hit record levels in 2017, reaching above $17,000 on the Luxembourg-based bitcoin exchange Bitstamp in December. The record high represented a 20-fold increase in value for the year.
The cryptocurrency has had its share of cynics, who warn of a bitcoin bubble. Ken Griffin, billionaire hedge fund manager, told CNBC that bitcoin smacks of tulip mania from centuries past. And Carl Icahn, who is also in the ranks of billionaire Wall Street heavyweights, has said bitcoin “seems like a bubble” and that he prefers to stay away from investments where he cannot understand why people are bidding the price up.